Memphis city is one of the most deprived neighborhoods in the United States with cycles of generational poverty and systemic inequity, under-resourced communities, and little upward social mobility pushing the children that grow up here into gangs and drugs. Memphis Inner City Rugby is helping steer children on to the right path, leveraging the power of rugby to close the opportunity gap and create a network of athletic and academic support. With Atlas’s support, MICR provide mentoring and meaningful relationships to develop the children’s social skills, as well as a supportive and accountable environment to help the students acquire skills and connections that will allow them to thrive in a career beyond the club. 


Before covid-19 in 2019-2020, MICR visited 216 High Schools, 31 Middle Schools and 41 Elementary schools, with every child receiving 250 hours with the programme.  98% of the children involved with MICR have said they feel their academic performance was improved and 91% of parents believe their children’s mental well-being has increased. MICR has 300 regular children as part of their programme, with 48 accessing college through rugby.  

Memphis Inner City Rugby has won multiple awards for their work, including the Reducing Racial Inequalities award from Beyond Sport and a visionary award from Tennessee Public Health Association.